Last year I read Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She is a Japanese cleaning consultant and explains how to tidy properly so that once you organize your home, you’ll never have to tidy again. While I don’t use all of the same methods as KonMari, there are many things in this book that I could identify with and have experienced in my own journey to simplify and de-clutter.
Marie Kondo strongly emphasizes the fact that everything you own should bring joy. She addresses the problem that sometimes we keep things not because of a practical use or happiness, but because of a lingering emotional attachment. If something has brought you joy in the past but no longer has a purpose, then it’s time to let the object go.
I do think that being thankful helps us to recognize when something is over and it’s time to move on. We can be thankful and acknowledge the feelings or memories associated with an object. But then make sure we are always living in the present. As Marie Kondo says,
“When we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.”
There are 3 main steps to the KonMari method of organizing:
1. Tidy in one shot, as quickly and completely as possible.
Make a set time to tidy, and give yourself a realistic but challenging timeline to go through everything in your home.
2. Sort by category, not by location.
This is so you know the true quantity of what you own. Put everything from one category in one location to start tidying.
3. Selection criterion: does it ‘spark joy’?
If we keep the things we truly love we will use them because we enjoy them now – not because we ‘should’ keep them.
I’ve had a few people tell me that they’ve read KonMari’s book and really like it, but even after trying to follow this advice they still own too much stuff. If you identify with this, then perhaps there is some reason that you’re getting stuck. Maybe you end up keeping things that don’t really ‘spark joy’. If you want some examples, I will begin posting a series of “how to’s” that are more thorough, and some will delve into exactly how I implemented the KonMari method. I’ll walk you through how I applied the method to some areas of my house. Stay tuned!